The Pittsburgh Penguins put Steve Oleksy on waivers today, and the Caps should claim him. If Taylor Chorney is the current presumptive 7th D when the regular season starts, Oleksy would be an appreciable upgrade. He’d also save the team a little cap space, as Oleksy, at $575k, is cheaper than Chorney at $700k.
But more importantly, Oleksy is better. Here’s how:
Sample size for Olesky is 62 regular season NHL games; Chorney, 68.
Maybe you aren’t into shots and scoring chances. Maybe goals are more your thing. Oleksy is superior there, as well. When Oleksy has been on the ice, his team has scored 60.27 percent of the total goals. Chorney’s team has scored just 30 percent of the overall goals when he’s on the ice.
One is a viable 7D; the other is not. That stats are clear, and so is the game tape. Oleksy has the puck-moving skills to activate a resurgent Caps offense.
And he can play the heavy hockey that Trotz likes so much.
Below their top-six guys, the Capitals’ defensive depth is worrying. Last season they used ten defensemen. The season before that, they used 14. Shoring up depth on the blue line chart needs to be a priority.
A decent player at a rock-bottom price who’s already familiar with the team, Steve Oleksy can help, and he’s available right now. The Caps should go get him.
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